Meet Atlanta Beatboxer, Yo App Hacker & Startup Cofounder

You have to get to know this college junior. Shehmeer Jiwani is one of the friendly Yo app hackers, codirector of Georgia Tech’s first official national hackathon, cofounder of a beatboxing crew, and oh… he plays 3 instruments and records his own electronic dance music. Hot damn this guy is on fire.

He’s taken his passion for music and channeled it into his newest project, EQIP, a digital marketplace that is about to change the way music plugins are distributed. Read on and get the full scoop on Shehmeer Jiwani.

Class of:

What is your major?
Computer Science

What are you currently working on outside of class?
I’ve got a few different things on my plate, and all of them are entrees:
– I directed HackGT alongside my co-director Pav and a team of wonderfully talented individuals. I’m currently working on organizing some absolutely insane things for round two next September.
– I co-founded EQIP with my pal Adam a few months ago, and we’re hard at work revolutionizing the music production game with a really sweet solution for plugin discovery and trialing.
– This year I’m one of the directors of Georgia Tech’s Startup Exchange. The Exchange is the university’s central entrepreneurial hub, and we’ve got the resources students need in order to turn their ideas into their careers.
– I’ve been writing lots of new material for my third EP! It’s been a while since I’ve put out new music, and I’m excited to share these super cool new tracks I’ve got cooking.
– Last, but certainly not least, I’m still performing all over Atlanta with BuzzBeats, Georgia Tech’s first official beatboxing crew (which I also co-founded two years ago)!

What past projects have you worked on?
– Built a facial recognition engine for Google Glass called Dossier at MHacks III. I worked with my good friend Chintan on this hack, and it’s easily our favorite technical accomplishment to date. Check out some screen shots.
– Interned at Rigor over at the amazing Atlanta Tech Village as a software engineering intern. Thanks to their incredible mentorship and immense skill, I learned Ruby and Rails really well and was able to build a powerful cloud service monitoring dashboard for the engineering team.
– Two friends and I hacked the app Yo over summer. We discovered a few crazy security flaws, but we were pretty white-hat about it – I’ll let the TechCrunch article tell the story.
– I’ll take another moment to plug the first HackGT again. 😉

What are your best technical or creative skills?
The team over at Rigor armed me with an insane amount of knowledge in Ruby, Rails, and web development as a whole during my awesome summer internship with them. I’ve since done pretty much all of my technical work in Ruby, and I’d say that’s where my strength lies for sure. I’ve also had a fair amount of experience with Android development through building a few apps for both Android phones and Google Glass in the past. On the creative side, I’ve got years of training and practice with piano, drums, ocarina, and electronic music production; I enjoy holing myself up in my home studio for hours at a time and writing lots of different kinds of music. Oh, and occasionally I’ll also Photoshop fake GQ covers with me on them…


What’s next on your list to learn?
I’m eager to get my hands dirty with artificial intelligence in the near future. I read quite a bit on AI in my spare time, and I’ll be taking some really dope intelligence and machine learning courses next semester. I’ve always been fascinated by computers that can learn and adapt on their own, and it’s been my goal to build a system capable of that for a long time, so I’m glad I’m finally about to receive formal education on the subject.

Why the interest in startups?
Startups are all about turning what you’re passionate about into your career, and that goes beyond just making money “doing what you love” – it’s about work that is so meaningful to you and your life that it doesn’t feel like work, it feels like you’re solving a problem and you’re living for it. The entire community breathes their passions day in and day out, because this mindset is shared across everyone who’s ever had that realization.

A while back, I interned at a large corporation. It was a really cool experience, and I learned a lot while I was there, but about two months in I started feeling like something wasn’t quite right. The work I was doing didn’t feel very significant, which is natural at a company with over 100,000 employees, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling. Then I heard the quote that kicked my heart in the face: “If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to build theirs.” That was when I knew what I had to do.

What’s your ideal internship?
The one I just landed! I was accepted into the hackNY Fellowship Class of 2015 earlier last month. The fellowship matches me with a startup that lines up precisely with my technical skills, and the startup offers me a significant project to work on over the course of a 10-week internship with them in the heart of New York City. Alongside that, the fellowship offers an insanely cool lecture series delivered by speakers such as Richard Stallman (founder of GNU/FSF) and moot (founder of 4chan), all of whom talk about both the technical and non-technical aspects of founding and running a startup.

Post graduation plans?
I’d love to be working on my own venture, whether it’s EQIP or another cool project. As long as I’m actively working on something that’s meaningful and really dope, I’ll be happy.